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Retaining Walls Both an Aesthetic and Functional Landscape Hardscaping

Aesthetic and Visual Considerations

Retaining walls are a visually appearing and efficient way to either level or retain sloped land, while still landscaping your space. Installed as either a functional or purely aesthetic feature, retaining walls can be adapted to many uses that span beyond erosion control. From a functional point of view, retaining walls can be used to level or retain a sloping area, maintain an existing grade around a landscape feature, support a level area such as a driveway or patio, or allow an abrupt or tiered change in grade. They can also be used as a bench or a fence base, flower beds, or an accent element in your yard.

Functional Considerations

Many retaining walls include a series of steps, or tiers, which allows for effective erosion control, as such a design breaks down the amount of soil and pressure held by each division of the wall. Tiered retaining walls also allow for attractive design graced by levels of flowers, shrubs, or other greenery. Retaining walls may be constructed of several types of design-friendly materials, including dry stacked stone, timbers, boulders, mortared stone, brick, and flagstone, allowing for a variety of textures, colors, shapes, and forms.

Structural Considerations

No matter the material used for your retaining wall, the wall must be built to a high quality and be strong enough to support the soil and pressure it holds back. The key to a stable wall is that is installed to be completely level and backfilled to help provide good drainage.

When thinking of adding a retaining wall or other hardscaping to your landscape, consult Lost Creek Landscapes. Serving the Northern Virginia region since 1997 and fully licensed and insured in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, Lost Creek Landscapes understands landscape design in terms of both aesthetics and function.